Urgent watering ban: Airlie residents urged to put down hose
A WATERING ban has been urgently imposed in the Airlie Beach area because of a system outage at the Main Water Treatment Plant.
The Whitsunday Regional Council released a statement about the ban, which will be in place until Wednesday, saying there was an outage due to a new Ergon transformer being installed for upgrades at the site.
The statement also said hot weather was contributing to the need to impose a ban.
“Council is requesting all residents to urgently stop watering lawns (until Wednesday) to enable the Cannonvale, Airlie Beach and Jubilee Pocket zones to replenish water in our Main Reservoir in Cannonvale,” the statement read.
“This is a temporary issue as the new $13 million major water pipeline currently being installed (89 per cent complete), will provide sustainable water for future population growth.”
Whitsunday Water chief operating officer Troy Pettiford said the transformer installation was a required component of the pipeline project.
“We have installed a new water booster facility at the Proserpine Water Treatment Plant as part of the upgrade works,” Mr Pettiford said.
“This upgrade required us to work with Ergon to also upgrade the power supply to the PWTP site.
“This new booster facility now has a generator installed to the new booster pump, so in future if there is a power outage the plant will continue to operate as per normal.”
Mr Pettiford said during the installation the plant was offline for about six hours and the prolonged dry spell and high water demand during the week had put a strain on the water network supply water to the beach.
“This challenge is why we are undertaking the upgrade to the pipeline to the beach (Airlie Beach/Cannonvale/Jubilee Pocket).
“We can produce enough water at the PWTP to supply this zone, we just can’t get the water to the beach quick enough, during these high demand periods, which traditionally is only a couple of weeks a year.
“The upgrade of the pipeline and the new booster will resolve this issue in the future.
“This Cannonvale/Arlie Beach area has out grown the original pipeline installed years ago.”
The council first urged residents to stop watering from Sunday, which allowed the reservoir to sit at 51 per cent.
Mr Pettiford said the reservoir was not sitting at 53 per cent and if demand remained low through the watering ban, the level should be about 90 per cent by Wednesday morning.
The main stage of the pipeline project is due to be finished in February, depending on the weather, and fully complete by March.
The council said if the reservoir returned to safe capacity earlier than Wednesday, residents would be informed immediately.